We had the good fortune of connecting with Kimberly Broerman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kimberly, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Sometimes, you have these moments or seasons of your life where you sense there is something more you’re meant to offer, that something new wants to emerge from you. After serving as a pastor in a local church for seven years, I felt called to leave the comforts and confines of the church I had known to embark on a new spiritual adventure. As a minister, I always relished the honest conversations I got to have, where people felt safe enough to bare their souls, to speak of the fears that kept them up at night, the moments where they experienced a mysterious grace, the longings of their heart, and more. But amidst all the many other roles and responsibilities, that care of souls could often get lost in the organizational mix. As spiritual direction, small groups, and retreats had been no transformative in my own spiritual journey, I wanted to offer a safe and sacred place for other seekers to gather and connect, explore and practice together. I also recongized there were increasingly many individuals who did not find their home in organized religion, those who had perhaps been betrayed by the church, or who longed for something more or different than what most traditional churches offered. So in 2008, I created Deep Waters Center for Prayer and Exploration, a sacred place for those seeking spiritual community, practice and wisdom. I love that I get to devote almost my full attention (though I think of it more as a ministry, there are still business aspects to it) to the care of souls. Whether it’s in a one-on-one conversation, a small spirituality group, or a retreat, I love listening to the stories of people’s lives, and wondering with them where God (or however they might name that Mystery) is present, and discerning how they can open more fully to that Sacred Presence and Movement in their lives, such that life flows with more grace, meaning and purpose. I see myself as a spiritual companion and guide, a shaper of community, and a curator of spiritual wisdom and practices. It can be difficult to know what to read or do to deepen one’s spiritual life, so I love offering that particular, personalized attention to each soul that comes my way.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Deep Waters offers space for people who are interested in deepening their spiritual lives. I have the joy and privilege of listening to a person’s life story and present experience, helping people to tune into their own souls, and to discern who they are created to be, how they’re called to live and serve. This can happen in one-on-one sessions, in small seasonal or topical groups, or in periodic retreat days. The process of creating and growing Deep Waters has been organic and life-giving. Working for myself, I feel free to respond to the common yearnings I hear in people and in the world around us as this particular moment in history. I can also shape a rhythm of life and work that is more healthy, gracious and balanced for me and my family, which includes two delightful boys who keep me in wonder and fatigue. I believe we all have a hunger to be seen and heard, known and loved in all our delightful particularity. I want people to know they are sacred beings, they are loved, and they have amazing gifts to offer this world. If I can pass along this gift, I’d be honored.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love that Atlanta has so many distinctive cultural and community pockets. We love taking guests to Your Dekalb Farmers Market, or many of the local farmers markets that have sprung up in recent years. We might go for Asian cuisine along Buford Highway, then belt out favorite tunes in a private karaoke room. And we are just as content walking from home to one of our favorite restaurants in Oakhurst Village like Scout, Mescalito’s, or Universal Joint, or spreading a picnic blanket for the free concert series on Thursday nights in April and September. If there were a weekend festival happening, like Inman Park, Summer Shade in Grant Park, or Porchfest, we’d be sure to partake. We enjoy walking the Atlanta Beltline, and hiking many of the trails around Atlanta, or within a few hours’ drive in North Georgia. With our kids, we love going to Fernbank, the Children’s Museum, local playgrounds, and splash pads and local farms around Atlanta, when in season.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have been formed and transformed by a holy host of spiritual guides and mentors. I’m grateful to Saint Mark UMC here in Atlanta, to my own spiritual director Lynnsay Buehler of the Julian of Norwich Center, to Green Bough House of Prayer in Adrian, GA, and to Richard Rohr and the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, NM, for helping me continue to grow and stretch, and find my soul’s true voice and vocation.